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Swisscontact was founded in 1959 as an independent foundation by notable figures of commerce and science in Switzerland. Working exclusively in international development cooperation, Swisscontact has maintained close ties with the private sector since its inception.

  • 1959 The "Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation" is founded. Its first president is Dr. Hans Schindler and Dr. Fritz Real becomes its first Director Ambassador.
  • 1962 In Chandigarh, India the first vocational school for precision mechanics opens.1963 An agriculture school opens its doors in Sékou (Benin) as a second project.
  • 1968 The School of Precision Mechanics in Chandigarh is handed over to the Indian government.
  • 1971 Robert Jenny takes over the Directorship. The foundation changes its name to Swisscontact.
  • 1974 The first project opens in Indonesia, a country that later on would become a key partner: a school for mechanics in Bandung.
  • 1979 Swisscontact's Senior Expert Corps is founded.
  • 1980 In Indonesia a large-scale project under contract with the Indonesian government is launched: the building of six technical schools for 5,000 students and one teacher training centre.
  • 1981 The first industrial promotion project is launched in Costa Rica.
  • 1993 The first environmental project launches in Costa Rica. In Albania, Swisscontact begins working in post-Communist Eastern Europe for the first time.
  • 1994 With its vocational education project in Vietnam, Swisscontact for the first time implements brief courses, launching Swisscontact's Skills Development approach.
  • 1995 In Ecuador the first microfinance project is launched.
  • 1996 A new method of SME promotion is tested in Ecuador: for-profit business consulting centres.
  • 2000 Swisscontact acquires programme contracts around the world and grows rapidly.
  • 2005 In Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Swisscontact provides assistance with post-Tsunami economic reconstruction.
  • 2006 Swisscontact's first microleasing project launches in East Africa.
  • 2008 The new guidelines and updated "Private Sector Development Strategy" are introduced.
  • 2012 Strategy 2020 is launched. Activities start in the Mekong region.
  • 2013 The "Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants" (CCAC) initiative under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognises Swisscontact's leading role in promoting resource-efficient brickmaking, reducing emissions in the transport sector, and recycling of household, industrial, and farm waste.
  • 2014 The OECD honours the ATC-P Katalyst project in Bangladesh by awarding it the "DAC Prize for taking Development Innovation to Scale".
  • 2015 20-year successful education campaign in Albania.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org